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J Aging Health. 2009 Sep;21(6):824-47. doi: 10.1177/0898264309340688. Epub 2009 Jul 6.

Alcohol consumption and health status in older adults: a longitudinal analysis.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

This longitudinal study examines the relationship of alcohol consumption to mortality and changes in mental and functional health in older adults.

METHOD:

In a national population health survey, 4,187 participants aged 50 and older at baseline provided information on alcohol consumption, potential confounders, and follow-up vital status. Logistic regression estimated the odds ratio for mortality, increase in psychological distress, and decline in functional health 10 years later.

RESULTS:

Compared with lifelong abstainers, light and moderate drinkers were at nonsignificantly lower risk of mortality. Among survivors, alcohol consumption showed no consistent relationship with increases in psychological distress. Occasional and light drinkers had significantly reduced risk of a substantial functional health decline, whereas moderate drinkers had nonsignificantly reduced risk.

DISCUSSION:

Findings suggest that light-to-moderate alcohol consumption reduces the risk of substantial functional health decline in older middle-aged drinkers.

PMID:
19581424
DOI:
10.1177/0898264309340688
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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